Travel News Report
Apr. 16, 2014

Consumer sentiment in US rises to highest level since July
Consumer confidence rose in April to the highest level since July, boosted by further improvement in the labor market that will provide some traction for the economy after a weather-related slowdown early this year. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of sentiment climbed to 82.6 this month from a four-month low of 80 in March. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the measure to increase to 81.More

Congress seeks extension of Brand USA
Successful Meetings
A bipartisan group of 25 U.S. senators has introduced a bill to reauthorize Brand USA, a public-private partnership established in 2010 to promote international travel to the United States, the U.S. Travel Association reported. The bill, the "Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act," would extend Brand USA — America's first-ever global consumer brand — through 2020.More

Airlines shouldn't count on millennial travelers to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi
Airlines are rushing to equip aircraft with Wi-Fi believing passengers will demand connectivity onboard. But who are those customers? More importantly, do they really intend to pay for it? The mention of "millennials" streams from headline-grabbing service providers and industry pundits with great frequency and at higher speed than even the most advanced connectivity options.More

Tiered Wi-Fi emerges as new industry model
Hotel News Now
After seeing complimentary Wi-Fi service become ubiquitous at limited- and select-service hotels, owner-operators of full-service properties are now facing growing pressures from consumers and brands to provide a tiered program that features free, property-wide basic service while charging for premium broadband access.More

How Microsoft squandered a chance to be a force in travel
If it's possible to have a funeral for a travel company that's already been dead for awhile, then this would be an opportune moment because Bing Travel ended its flight predictions that advised users to buy now or wait. Microsoft/Bing inherited the flight prediction service when it acquired Farecast for $115 million in 2008, but has now indicated that it has killed the fare prediction service so it can better devote its resources elsewhere.More